Bhilwara was formerly a part of Udaipur princely state, and it became part of the state of Rajasthan in 1948. The city is a rail and road communications hub as well as a market centre. Bhilwara’s industries include cotton milling, hand-loom weaving, and the manufacture of hosiery and metalware (especially tinned utensils). It has a hospital and a number of colleges affiliated with the University of Rajasthan in Jaipur.
The surrounding region consists of an elevated plateau sloping toward the hilly, forested northeast. Wheat, corn (maize), barley, and cotton are the chief crops. Fuel and charcoal are marketable products. Beryllium, mica, and iron ore deposits are worked. Pop. (2001) 280,128; (2011) 359,483.